UConn student arrested, charged with antisemitic hate crime

Written by on May 1, 2021

The student, who investigators saw wearing a ring with a symbol used by the Nazi regime, eventually confessed to the crime expressing dislike of “certain Orthodox Jewish traditions.”

Swastika on a wall (illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Swastika on a wall (illustrative)

(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

A student at the University of Connecticut was arrested for allegedly spray-painting a swastika near the university’s Hillel building during Passover and charged with a hate crime, The Hill reported Friday.

Kristopher Pieper, 21, was charged with third-degree intimidation based on bias and third-degree criminal mischief, according to the Hartford Courant which cited university police. Police were able to identify Pieper and tie him to the crime using security camera footage as well as the history of Pieper’s student access card and wireless internet use.

Pieper, who investigators noticed was wearing a ring with a symbol used by the Nazi regime when they interviewed him, eventually confessed to the crime, expressing dislike of “certain Orthodox Jewish traditions,” according to The Hill.

Pieper wrote a 10-page apology letter for the incident. The letter, which he asked to read aloud to officers, contained antisemitic tropes and theories, according to the Courant.

The swastika graffiti, which appeared on the side of the university’s chemistry building, was the 5th antisemitic incident on University of Connecticut’s campus this year.

Another swastika and “SS” symbol were painted on one of the buildings in the Storrs campus a few days later. Police believe both incidents are related, but Pieper is only accused of the first incident, according to the Courant.

Earlier this month, the university’s Hillel responded to the incidents: “Enough is enough. Jewish students on campus are done being silent.” They called upon university students to join a “gathering to support Jewish students and stand up against antisemitism.

Hadassah Brenner contributed to this report.

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